July 31, 2005 20:42 | Social

Your rights to photograph

Your Rights and Remedies When Stopped or Confronted for Photography

The general rule in the United States is that anyone may take photographs of whatever they want when they are in a public place or places where they have permission to take photographs. Absent a specific legal prohibition such as a statute or ordinance, you are legally entitled to take photographs. Examples of places that are traditionally considered public are streets, sidewalks, and public parks.

Members of the public have a very limited scope of privacy rights when they are in public places. Basically, anyone can be photographed without their consent except when they have secluded themselves in places where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as dressing rooms, restrooms, medical facilities, and inside their homes.

Taking a photograph is not a terrorist act nor can a business legitimately assert that taking a photograph of a subject in public view infringes on its trade secrets.1

On occasion, law enforcement officers may object to photography but most understand that people have the right to take photographs and do not interfere with photographers. They do have the right to keep you away from areas where you may impede their activities or endanger safety. However, they do not have the legal right to prohibit you from taking photographs from other locations.

Good to know.

[1] interesting juxtaposition here: "Taking a photo is not a terrorist act" AND "taking a photo of somrhting in full public view is not an infringement of commercial trade secrets." I venture to say that if not already then very soon, so-called "acts against corporations" will be considered tantamount to terrorism. "You're terrorizing our profit margin! Die!"

Found via Digg & © 2003 Bert P. Krages II (woah! more meta!)